Sweet red peppers are stuffed with a lentil and quinoa filling rich with olives and sprinkled with feta. Serve with a big fresh salad for your next dinner party or Sunday lunch.
Stuffed peppers are one of my vegetarian love languages. If someone takes the time to stuff a pepper full of delicious, already-awesome-on-their-own-behalf ingredients, I can taste the love. My Mum often makes me a stuffed capsicum to replace the meat I am ‘missing out on’ when she makes a roast for the family. While I did love roast dinners, Mama, that stuffed capsicum is where its at for me nowadays. And I don’t miss a thing. (Especially when you give me an extra serve of crispy roast potatoes 😉 )
Peppers/capsicums (*note: for the purpose of this post I will refer to them as peppers, but Aussies, you know what I mean) are the perfect vessels for filling with stuffing, roasting until pliant and sweet, and then serving along with a big crispy salad. They can be made to suit any cuisine, they look super fancy while being super easy, and creating a new flavour sensation is as easy as changing up the mixture you use to stuff them (try my millet and black bean version or my mini corn stuffed peppers).This is my ultimate, Greek-inspired stuffed pepper. The stuffing starts with a hearty base of puy lentils and quinoa mixed with a flavour base of sauteed herbed onion, carrot and celery and jazzed up with some briny black olives. All of this is stuffed into sweet red peppers and topped with gloriously salty Greek feta. I can already taste a Mediterranean escape.I love this filling because it is rich in vegetarian protein from both the lentils and the quinoa, but the whole meal is light enough for a luxurious lunch or light dinner that won’t weigh me down. I think this would be the perfect meal for a lazy Sunday lunch (like it was in our house) where you have nothing to do but while away an hour or so watching clouds drift over the deep blue sky. I am currently learning to let myself take a moment over my meals to just be. To be with my hunger before my meal, to be with the flavours, textures, sounds, and scents of my meal as I am eating, and to honour the feeling of fullness once I am finished eating. I have been reading about mindful and intuitive eating recently and these practices are something I hope to learn more about and share with you here. I think they might be the way to extract maximum pleasure from food and thoroughly nourish our bodies with the choices we make. More about that in the future.For now, I want you to make these peppers your love language. Serve them to your vegetarian guests with a vibrant green salad on the side, or make them a little heartier if you are serving omnivores by pairing them with the protein of your choice. Enjoy the tender bites of quinoa and lentils, the soft sweet flesh of the roasted red peppers, and the salty golden-topped feta. While away your mealtime with a little escape to the Mediterranean with these peppers.
Greek Lentil and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
| Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Serves 3-4
- 4 large sweet red peppers (or small red bell peppers/capsicums)
- 1/4 cup quinoa
- 1/2 cup puy lentils
- 1 1/2 cups salt reduced vegetable stock
- 1 small red onion
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 medium carrot
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/3 cup chopped black olives
- 50 grams feta
- Green salad
- Preheat your oven to 180C (350F).
- Wash and dry peppers well. Cut peppers in half from stem to tip and carefully remove seeds and white ribs from the insides. Leave the stem intact. Lay peppers on a lined baking sheet until required.
- Rinse lentils and quinoa well. Place in a small saucepan with the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and fit the saucepan with a lid. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Then remove from the heat. Stand for five minutes before draining and fluffing up with a fork. Keep at room temperature until required.
- Finely dice onion, celery and carrot. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan. Saute onion, celery and carrot until the onion is translucent and the carrot is softened. Add thyme, rosemary, and oregano and remove from the heat. Stir this mixture into the lentils and quinoa.
- Add sliced olives to the stuffing.
- Spoon stuffing into prepared peppers. Crumble feta over the stuffed peppers.
- Place peppers into the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until the peppers are soft and wrinkled.
- Serve with a green salad.